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1  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS Mansfield (h) 16th October 2021 on: October 16, 2021, 18:43:08 pm
Kion Etete for me.
2  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS Sutton Utd (h) 2nd October 2021 on: October 03, 2021, 09:44:18 am
Balding was close, but Roberts kept the scoreline respectable yesterday.
3  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Bums firmly on seats: Brady's creative void on: October 03, 2021, 09:11:23 am
We've been more entertaining under Brady than under Curle this year, but the actual philosophy behind the style of play isn't too different, it's just a more polished version of it.

I thought there were some promising patterns of play in some of the earlier games this season that indicated we were looking for a solid start but would be expanding our play to be more creative as the season progressed, but the second half at Salford and the entirety of yesterday have been a worrying slide in standards for me.

More revealing though are the choices the management are making in the starting XI at the moment. Selecting Rose and Kabamba up top indicates to me one style of football, because the two are hardly in rip roaring form in front of goal. I really think we should be putting our eggs in the Etete basket. While he hasn't scored in the league yet I've seen enough creativity from him - not to mention the two goals he scored at Coventry - to indicate he is our best choice for getting goals and also the most exciting striker we have to watch.

The lack of action for Scott Pollock I'm starting to find increasingly bizarre as well. I'm not saying he will be the answer, but can we at least give him an extended go to see whether he is - because he's shown far more in the glimpses I've seen of him this year than any of our other midfield players.

I said at the start of this year I would settle for a mid-table finish as long as I saw some clear progress towards embedding a more expansive style of play that would stand us in better stead for future progression. There's of course plenty of time still to do that, but I'm getting the vibe that we're going down the direct route to get results again. Better for this year perhaps, but leaves us in the same old situation should we make the leap to League One, where we've been found out with hoofball time and time again.
4  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Sutton (h) Sat 2nd Oct. on: October 03, 2021, 08:41:54 am
A rare example of virtually all the comments on here being universal!

In all the previous games I've seen we've been difficult to beat and had a great team spirit even with our creative flaws, but yesterday we demonstrated nothing of even the positive things I'd seen in our matches. I think we can all appreciate that a team can have the odd bad day, but there were just so many avoidable things yesterday from a tactical perspective that just made it far too easy for Sutton.

As mentioned by almost everyone, why was Harriman not picked? When I saw the starting line-up I could only assume that we'd gone for three at the back (McGowan, Horsfall, Koiki) because the idea of not playing a ready made right back and shifting someone out of position to play there just seems utterly bonkers. I just cannot understand managers that play players out of position and it's always been a slippery slope when they start doing that as I don't think it inspires confidence in either supporters or the players for that matter. It also sends a terrible message to the player who's been overlooked.

Secondly, Sutton were a big physical side and the direct football we were playing against them was not working. At half-time I wanted to see some proactive changes from the management team to try something new. It was abundantly clear that we were not going to score using hoofball up to Rose and Kabamba because we barely won a header all half. Instead, no changes in formation and more importantly personnel. We then concede straight away and still wait 10-15 minutes before making any changes, but the substitutions don't even change the style of play - we end up going even more direct!

Mostly though, I'm just tired of being bored watching us at Sixfields. I used to side with the 'results at all costs' argument but honestly, as soon as you don't have a season ticket for one year and start doing other social stuff on a Saturday you really start to value the entertainment side more of things when you come back to watch them, and we've been pretty starved of that for a few years now.
5  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: £alford City Away 25.09.21 on: September 25, 2021, 23:22:59 pm
Can't deny that Salford were good value for at least a point, but a frustrating and preventable goal to see the extra points slide.

I have to say apart from the first 20 minutes I wasn't hugely impressed with us today - we were poor on the ball and didn't really do anything in the second half apart from score a goal. But we're difficult to beat and the players work very hard for each other and that should absolutely be the positives to take out, as well as the fact we were nowhere near our best and still nearly won.

Good atmosphere in the away end today, but that was the strangest home atmosphere I've ever encountered. You couldn't even really hear the Salford fans celebrate when they scored and the closest thing to a chant from them arrived in the 95th minute after the equaliser. Still, I've ticked it off the 92 now.
6  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS Sc***horpe (h) 4th September 2021 on: September 05, 2021, 13:03:00 pm
Yep Danny Rose.

Every one of the back four deserves a mention too.
7  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Home against The Iron Saturday 04.09.21 on: September 05, 2021, 12:58:59 pm
We went far more route one than I expected in the game, but it seemed to be a targeted ploy to get in behind their defence - and it did, even if was inadvertent, lead to their man getting sent off.

I'd been uninspired by Paul Lewis so far but thought he had a good game yesterday and was effective at nicking back possession and being given the freedom to get forward a bit more. He should have had one at least and could have bagged a couple.

I was very impressed with the centre-backs once again, they look like a really solid partnership and Horsfall is now consistently one of our best players which is a real credit to him and his development from the start of last season. Was also impressed with both full-backs, and may be in the minority of people who preferred Koiki to Mills anyway in terms of what he offers going forward.

Probably the best game I've seen Danny Rose have for us, and just in time really as I was beginning to question if he offers anything more than hard work after an incredibly long spell for a striker without scoring. Hopefully this leads to a bit of a run for him now, as I think him and Etete could be a very awkward duo for defenders in this league.

Obviously the plus point to the start of this season is 4 cleans sheets in 5 games. It bodes well as any organised team is pretty much always in the running for promotion.
8  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Trust statement on club finances on: September 05, 2021, 12:44:54 pm
Carton you know exactly what I'm saying ,how many times have certain people referred to the money given to the Club as being a loan? That money was given by fans for the benefit of the staff, not too be used as a loan.
And here we have the usual root cause of the problem.

Once again someone fails to discern between 'the Trust' and 'certain people' (who aren't even board members) posting in their own capacity.

I doubt the £10k has been mentioned by either the Trust or football club in a good three years, because the matter was settled in both sets of accounts.

Two more pages of divisive nonsense due to you just making something up.
9  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The 'Clare Balding' POTS Colchester United (a) 14th August 2021 on: August 16, 2021, 07:17:07 am
10  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The ‘Clare Balding’ POTS: Port Vale (h) 7th Aug on: August 12, 2021, 08:11:18 am
11  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Minimum Standard of Performance on: August 08, 2021, 10:26:29 am
We should always be aiming for promotion in League Two. If we don't get that this year I'll be content as long as I'm seeing some good signs that we're on the way to achieving it, in much the way we did in the second half of the Wilder mid-table season. A more pleasing style of play on the eye and some blooding of promising youth-team players would also be welcome.

12  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Port Vale at home Saturday 7th August 2021 on: August 08, 2021, 09:10:24 am
Thought it was a decent enough performance and did what we had to do after Vale were reduced to 10 men. I think under previous incumbents, even with an extra man we'd have sat back and tried to soak up pressure. I thought we kept the ball well in spells, but also offered a genuine counter attacking threat. I didn't feel like Vale were ever going to score apart from a set-piece, so it was a bit naive of us to keep giving them free-kicks to get into the box. But I felt relatively comfortable once we went 1-0 up, which isn't normally the case with the Cobblers!

Surprised to see McGowan getting panned by a few people as I thought he was our most effective player in the first half and all our attacks came down the right hand side. That said, I barely noticed him in the second half as all the attacks then came down the left, when Koiki really stood out as an exciting prospect after coming on.

Roberts had little to do in goal but came for the crosses with confidence and the defence in front - particularly the centre-backs - looked very solid after a shaky first 15.

Was really impressed with Kabamba and Pinnock. For Kabamba that's the second time he's nicked the ball off a keeper already after the Brum pre-season win. While I don't think he'll get us many goals himself I think he's going to be the focal point for our attacks and is going to cause all sorts of problems for defenders. Pinnock will offer more going forward than he showed yesterday, but his tracking back for a winger was immense and he played the right pass almost every time.

If I was going to highlight anything that could be worked on I don't think Lewis and Flores complemented each other that well, with the obvious caveat that it's only the first game. Lewis did grow into the game but I thought he dallied on the ball too much and got caught out by any quick pressing. And Flores didn't play well, but again, it's only the first game. That said, I wouldn't start either ahead of McWilliams, who I expect to see back in the starting XI very soon.
13  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Next week's open house on: June 29, 2021, 15:29:50 pm

In the meantime I could see that nothing was changing off the pitch, KT had promised the £4m and I foolishly thought with new owners talking about community and growth and development, things were going to change. But nothing did. I said to Fez at York away (23 Feb 2016) that KT will not build that stand. All the staff members that had watched over DC's actions and been employed by him, all remained, not one change. Perhaps I was impatient then but I have certainly been proved 'right' (please do not take that as gloating)

I do remember that York game and you saying that - but I have to say I was thoroughly enjoying the football that night  Grin
14  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The Trust, is it lost? on: June 29, 2021, 13:08:30 pm
I was a board member for 5 years ago, until around 2-3 months ago. The reasons why I left will remain private and I wont get embroiled in the politics. Quite simply, I cannot be assed!

Essentially I could see this fall out coming from a mile away, I do have quite strong views as to why it has happened. I work with the club on projects with my business and quite frankly, I did not want my own personal views bundled in with a collective view point (Trust). There are a number of people involved with the trust and its always going to be very challenging to find a common view point, back in the DC days (end of) it was easy but I think its fair to say its subjective as things stand.

Backofthenet touches on a point that I felt very strongly about for a long while. In that some individual trust directors and associates would post on social media their own view points and often they would then directly be associated with the Trusts collective viewpoint. This fall out has in my opinion, mainly been caused by that. Some will agree, some will disagree with this. But that's my own personal opinion. I have refrained for a long time now not to share my personal views on off the pitch topics either on here or on social media because I felt it would put the Trust in a difficult position. I will continue that, because I have the upmost respect for my ex trust colleagues and also the staff I work with at the football club. Many of these view points are subjective and will generate debate, often negative. So essentially for the Trust and Club to work together effectively they need to keep their opinions on each other private until a point if damming evidence of wrong doing surfaces...this of course works both ways.

Personally, until this stops I think the divide will widen. Ultimately the guys on the Trust are all passionate and committed supporters, and work hard to hold the club to account. However, the way some of their social media (in particular) posts come across often stirs things up unnecessarily. Again, in my opinion. Its a very difficult balance to find, stopping freedom of speech is a big negative, however, in the role of a trust director I believe there comes a point where you need to refrain yourself from publicly engaging in topics that are very sensitive relating to the football club.

Along the way, so much has been wrongly interpreted, been read out of context etc. Look at footballers themselves, and other 'celebrities'. Social media is great for many reasons but it has its downfalls. I also believe that the Trust should now take firm action and anyone who represents it should be far more careful as to what they tweet, put on facebook, post on here etc. Sadly or not, it goes with the territory.

Sorry to hear you've left the board Drilling. Those points about social media are very pertinent. I know from my own experience that it was such a difficult balancing act between trying to correct assertions about the Trust when they are blatantly incorrect but also trying not to come across as 'holier than though' or appear that you feel you are immune from fair criticism.

I think it would help if everyone on all sides stopped and calmed down a bit, hopefully that Trust response will achieve that as I think it was pretty well measured. Like a lot of things at the moment it seems like you have to pick a camp and stick with it to the bitter end. In reality it's more complex than that.
15  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: The Trust, is it lost? on: June 29, 2021, 11:45:26 am
As a former board member of the Trust here's my two penneth worth.

I think the club should have just answered the 25 questions in writing sent to them by the Trust - even if they didn't like a couple of them. A few questions were a bit 'loaded' so to speak but the owners should have thick enough skin to deal with that. This is also a compromise situation given the previous relationship breakdown, it's not going to be perfect. I do feel the majority of questions were fair to ask, and the cynic in me does question why they couldn't feel they could provide written answers. I don't know exactly why I think it, but it just doesn't sit right. If everything Kelvin has said about the East Stand at the open day comes to fruition then happy days, but I will only really believe it when I see it.

Despite them not getting the written answers, I personally would have still liked the Trust to take up the option of the open Zoom call and I would have just asked them the most pertinent of the 25 questions there. It would still have been answers on the record and we'd know more about what he was/wasn't willing to talk about. I'd like to know more about the thought process behind turning that down.

The above is a classic example of both sides being a bit stubborn - but I have to say the Trust seem to be getting the brunt of the criticism when I would say the situation was of equal making between the club and the Trust.

Unfortunately the difficulty here is that supporters also hold very stubborn views on the Trust that they never seem to let go. Having used to do comms for them back in the day I knew people who hated the Trust because of stuff that was done in the 90s when I was still in nappies and despite it being an entirely new board. The image now, whether fair or not, is that the Trust is anti-club and pro fan ownership. People nowadays more than ever seem more unwilling to ever change their mind, and they're going to have to work very hard to rectify that.

Onto the open letter from staff. Whatever your views are of KT on playing budgets, investments, the East Stand, 5USport ect, it cannot be denied that he is very clearly a good operator. If you speak to any staff member they have nothing but praise for him and they think he treats them well. In that respect, he's clearly a good owner. So I don't feel that it's likely that the club board put the staff up to doing this.

That said I would have liked to have seen more evidence that this anti-club rhetoric is rife in the whole Trust board rather than it being a couple of individuals acting of their own accord, which is certainly the impression I get though I'm happy to be proved wrong. Regardless of whether they like it or not, Trust board members are entitled to their own view - it doesn't mean that their views are that of the Trust board. I have never seen a Trust statement criticise the staff, so I also feel that if indeed it is just a couple of the board that made those posts then the open letter is a bit harsh on a number of people who I know are good people with the club at heart and have now been tarred with a particular brush. That said, the quoted posts in the open letter seemed very crass, and I would hope Trust board members are being advised on their use of social media.

With regards to the future - it's absolutely imperative that this club has a healthy supporters' trust. It's the body that people turn too, it's the original supporters' trust and we should be proud of it. It's only as healthy as its membership though.

There are as usual good ideas on here on how the Trust can be driven forward, but it requires people to do the work - and as a fanbase we are too happy to leave the same 10-12 people ticking the Trust over until the next crisis. I hope that some of the people who are coming up with these great ideas go to the Trust and offer their help, it would be a great way to start.
16  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Redevelopment Closer Than Ever? on: May 28, 2021, 18:15:11 pm
I have to say I looked at the questions from the Trust to the club and couldn't see much wrong with them. I wouldn't envisage the club disclosing who potential sponsors may be, but to me the rest seemed fair game and the answers if forthcoming will shed an important light on what potential state the club could be in when Kelvin and David Bower decide their tenure has come to an end.

Perhaps a couple of them are a bit blunt i.e do you have an exit strategy, but after having owners for six years and being no nearer knowing what their plans are for the development of the East Stand land or how long they sees themselves here for, I fail to see any reason in the Trust being coy for much longer on those issues.

With regards to fan ownership, it's very clear to anyone that wants to do the basic minimum of research that the Trust is pursuing it as a rainy day policy. I cannot understand why anyone would not want them to pursue it - we'd be daft to think the club could never enter a crisis again and I speak from experience here when I would prefer a Trust that is ready to go with a potential plan than leaping into the unknown as we did last time.

During the last crisis I had businessmen ringing me up at work wanting the buy the club, I can't tell you what a weird and unexpected experience that was that I was totally unequipped for Grin

The issue of the Trust actively pursuing a purchase of the football club or becoming involved in a 50+1 model outside of a crisis i.e as things stand, is a different matter. For me, yes that would require further and much more detailed consultation with the membership, because it's beyond the original brief that its members ratified at the 2018 AGM. But then I haven't seen any evidence that they are intending to do that, merely to continue exploring the rescue model.
17  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: New Manager on: March 01, 2021, 16:16:16 pm
Yeah guys let's just stick with Brady "because he plays good football"  Roll Eyes

How many games are we going to give him 5, 10, 15? Maybe, the chairman is waiting for his first win to then announce him as manager.

JB must have upset a few players after Saturday with his comments after the game and is only going to pick players "up for the fight."

A new manager could give us that important new manager bounce that could see us out of the relegation zone and bring confidence to the players for the run in.

There again it could be everyone is resigned to relegation from supporters to the people running our club.
The fact that the performances have picked up under a new manager but the results haven't seems to me to be very indicative that this squad just doesn't have the required quality to stay in the division regardless of who is at the helm. It is immaterial whether this squad plays well or not in a match, they have mastered the art of not winning football matches. I'm not sure therefore that a second bite at getting a new manager bounce will prove any more fruitful than the first attempt with Brady, though of course it can't be ruled out entirely.

If we're going to take a punt with some money I think I'd rather put it towards an out of contract goalkeeper and a striker myself than another manager.
18  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Port Vale (h) 30th March on: March 30, 2019, 00:33:55 am
Evening all. Does anybody have a spare or a ticket they don’t need for the game tomorrow. Happy to pay a small fee.

Asking for a friend who is staying with me who for some reason fancies going tomorrow.

Thought I would try you good people first before asking him to pay the full wack tomorrow.
DM me if you can help

Sent you a DM.
19  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Grappling The Grecian's 9th March (H) on: March 10, 2019, 10:58:05 am
The most pleasing thing is we seem to have gone back to basics. No messing around with strikers playing in full-back positions, or putting square pegs in round holes. The manager is now playing players in their proper positions and we're reaping the rewards.

This is the first decent run of form that hasn't been a 'new manager bounce' in nearly three years. I admit I was very worried after that Colchester game, but since then the team has looked organised and physical, and at times quite creative as well.

The last two games against Crewe and Exeter we've absolutely bossed the midfield, and I think we've identified a really strong combination now in O'Toole, Foley and Turnbull. The latter two for me should be battling it out for Player of the Season, and JJOT is getting back to his best form.

I think the Play-Offs, while not impossible, is probably going to be too much of an ask. But we're no longer looking over our shoulders and hopefully we can build up some momentum that we can take into next season.
20  The Hotel End / Cobblers Corner / Re: Safe Standing on: February 11, 2019, 17:10:26 pm
Personally I'm happy that the club are still exploring this. As a season ticket holder in the North myself, it will be interesting to hear what kind of feedback the club get back.
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